Word of the week #16: 粉絲

I know we went through different types of noodles in Word of the week #14. However, this is not the normal use of the term 粉絲. It is the use of the two words as a transliteration of an English word. It is the transliteration of “fans” as in a supporter of a thing or person.

A web search of the words 「粉絲」 ends up being a mix of recipes for dishes and various fan forums. A search for 「給粉絲」 (for the fans) comes up with various news or blog posts about messages from celebrities to their fans on the web or through fan meetings.

I’m not sure when the use of 粉絲 for “fans” started. I only stumbled upon it recently when I was watching some videos on the web. It is slang so it probably comes up more on the web or in entertainment news. The word 迷 (mi) means crazed or charmed and is a possible corresponding Chinese word. The use is not quite the same. 「他是你粉絲」 means s/he is your fan. But 「他是歌迷」 means s/he is crazy about songs, which means that the person might like to sing or like music. I think 迷 applies more to things and 粉絲 applies to people? I’m not sure. Modern terms are always changing.


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